Tim Scott: ‘A Lot of Overlap’ Between Parties on Chokeholds, De-Escalation

On Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said that he thinks there is “a lot of overlap” between the Republican police reform package that is being worked on and the package released by House Democrats. Scott said reducing chokeholds and de-escalation training are issues of common ground, but also stated that there are different approaches to use of force boards and no-knock warrants and there is a difference between the parties on qualified immunity.

Scott said, “Well, the text is being finished today. … I looked at the House package, talked to my friends on the other side of the aisle, and worked on something that I think has a lot of synergy and a lot of overlap.”

He later added, “I think we both have the desire to see the chokehold used infinitely less. We take two different paths to get there, but that’s one area. I think the duty to intervene is something that we have in our legislation. Watching the three officers stand there while the other one was on Mr. Floyd’s neck, that’s something that we should work on. There’s another part of it that deals with data and training, both really important parts. When I look at the House bill, there’s a lot around de-escalation training. It’s in our legislation as well. Use of force boards, that’s a part of our bill. We do it differently. We want to study it before we move into it. They want to move it — quickly into it. I think it’s important for us to have that conversation. But when you’re that close from a beginning point in legislation, that means there’s a really good chance that something good will come out of it.”

Scott continued, “We’re distances away on the qualified immunity. That is something that there are members of my conference that want to have that conversation. That’s the minority of my conference. I would say that the majority of their conference wants to have a conversation around qualified immunity. How we deal with the no-knocks is a place where we both want to deal with it. We have two different ways — two different approaches to dealing with it.” Scott further stated that there needs to be more information on how no-knock warrants are used.

Scott also stated that the question of whether there are systemic racism issues in law enforcement is “a tough question to answer. I think the definition of systemic really does matter. If the question is, is there a racial outcome in the issues or the incidents? Whether or not you believe that it is systemic, the answer is yes. The definition of systemic or institutional racism is just, there are so many different definitions, I don’t jump there first.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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